Syria to Retake Northern Town After Al-Qaeda Withdraws

Al-Qaeda denies ceding the town, says fighting will continue

The Syrian military appears set to retake the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province on Wednesday, after al-Qaeda’s forces were reported to have withdrawn from the area in recent fighting.

The town is important because it’s on a main highway. Turkey was sending a military convoy into the town earlier this week, though the convoy was hit in a Syrian airstrike. Al-Qaeda, however, denies they’re abandoning the town.

Though all indications are that there isn’t substantial fighting and they are moving their forces back, al-Qaeda says now that they still are holding some parts of the town, and that they intend that fighting should continue.

Al-Qaeda has been losing ground in Idlib since the ceasefire collapsed last week. Syria was willing to allow the ceasefire to hold if al-Qaeda would withdraw from the buffer zone, but they ruled out doing so.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of